Interest in coinfection with multiple types of human papillomavirus (HPV) has increased in response to the possibility of vaccination and the discovery that the host immune response appears to be mainly type specific. This study attempts to document the occurrence of coinfection with multiple HPV types and to determine whether these coinfections predicted acquisition or persistence of other HPV types in a prospective cohort of women in Brazil. Multiple HPV types were detected at the same visit in one-fifth of all women who tested positive for HPV at any time. Acquisition of an HPV infection was more likely among women with any HPV type detected on study entry. Persistence of HPV infection, the true precursor of cervical abnormalities, was independent of coinfection with other HPV types. Given the increasing prominence of HPV vaccination as a potential preventive approach, it is imperative that additional insights on cross-type protection be obtained from longer-term longitudinal investigations.